How To Find Out Who Is Searching For You Online

If you’ve ever Googled yourself to discover more about your online reputation, then you may have wondered how to find out who is searching for you. A recent AVG study showed that more than 90 percent of babies under the age of two have already developed an online presence. Given the data, electronic privacy is more important now than it ever has been. This article examines how to find out who is searching for you online. It will also teach you to protect your electronic privacy and manage your online reputation so that you control what people find when they search for you on the Internet.

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How People Find You Online

Finding anyone online is a pretty easy proposition if they have an online presence. Search engines like Google use complicated formulas to determine which results filter to the top in search results; however, one of the main determinations is keywords. Your first and last names are the two main keywords that people use to search for you. Other keywords may refine searches further, so that you may appear higher search results for John Smith, author than you would in a generic search for your name. Keywords people may use to search for you include your hometown, your company, your profession or your interests and hobbies. If you have a common name like “John Smith,” then chances are slim you will show up in the first few pages of search results unless you have a very significant online reputation.

Along with search engine keyword searches, searchers can go to specific people lookup inquiry sites like Pipl or Spokeo. These sites do what is known as a “deep Web search” to find people online.

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Is It Possible to Find Out Who's Searching for You?

According to keyword research, Web users seek information on how to find people online more than 55 million times every month. It is very difficult to find out if any of those 55 million are searching for you on large search engines like Google, but you may be able to obtain some rudimentary information. You can do keyword research using the Google Keyword Tool, which will give you global monthly statistics that tell you how many people have searched for your name or your name plus keywords; however, it is impossible to tell if they were specifically looking for you or for other people with your name, and it won’t tell you who has conducted the searches.

Other sites like Who Is Searching for Me and MyLife.com may be able to give you some insight into whether or not your name is searched on the Internet, but the information is often general and of little use. Social networking sites like Facebook have a utility that will tell you who has visited your profile, and some sites like MyLife, the now-defunct Ziggs, and Naymz have settings that allow you to set up email alerts if someone searches for you.

Instead of worrying about how to find out who is searching for you online, you may be better served making sure you have as much control of the online information people find when they search for you as possible. You can control your online reputation and assure your electronic privacy by taking some basic steps.

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Protecting Your Electronic Privacy

Protecting your electronic privacy involves making sure that there is no publicly available private information about you online. This includes Social Security number, account number, digital images of your signature, birth date, and home address. Your first line of defense is to contact websites that compromise your electronic privacy and ask that they remove the private information. If the site in question doesn’t have a clear path of ownership, you can find out who owns the site by doing a WhoIs lookup. If you are unable to contact the site owner, then contact the website’s host and file an Unauthorized Personal Material form. If that doesn’t work, then contact Google, who will remove any sites from their search engine results that display unauthorized private information or materials that infringe on copyrights. Search engines like Google take a hard line stance against websites that share personal information.

Online electronic privacy management firms like Reputation.com offer products like MyPrivacy that perform regular deep Web searches to uncover information that may compromise electronic privacy, and then they do the legwork to get the information removed.

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Managing Your Online Reputation

Managing your online reputation involves a multi-tiered strategy that includes the following:

  • Monitoring third-party information others put on the internet about you
  • Controlling information that you put on the internet
  • Controlling which search results rise to the top of search engines

Online Reputation DIY Strategies in Action

Set up Google Alerts with your name and keywords in the search terms, and you will receive emails when new information using those keywords arrives in Google’s search engine rankings. If you do find negative or libelous content about yourself, contact the website owner or blogger and ask them to remove it. Don’t forget your own personal network. Make sure that the online content posted by friends, co-workers, and family members represent you in a positive light.

You can employ multiple strategies to help control search engine results. A key strategy is to put content on the Web that pushes negative content further down in search engine results. To do this, write keyword-rich content and deploy it on as many of the sites that allow you to post free profiles. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are not only free, but also rank high in search engine results.  Writing content-controlled information for those sites will help your name and keywords to rise high to the top of search engine results. You may also want to set up your own website and/or blog to further push negative information lower in rankings. Reputation.com’s MyReputation can do this for you, bringing positive information about you to the forefront of search engine results and helping you manage your online reputation.

Control Your Online Reputation & Personal Data

Reputation.com has recognized that everyone from individuals to SMBs to CEOs rely heavily on being able to control their online presence and info, and after consulting with leading internet privacy and online reputation experts have developed specific services and tools to assist in the removal, monitoring, improving, defending and reparation of online reputations and privacy.  As you'll see below we've introduced some initial concepts you'll need to begin improving your online privacy or reputation situation; however we also realize that not everyone has the time and resources to first completely understand and second manage the whole "online reputation and privacy" environment themselves.  To this end Reputation.com has developed two specific services, ReputationDefender and MyPrivacy, that can a help you remove, monitor, improve, manage or repair your online presence.

MyPrivacy & ExecPrivacy

This is a service that we recommend for all individuals as well as public figures.  MyPrivacy offers a number of different levels of service, from simple (and free) monitoring on through to a fully managed privacy service.  The Exec package was designed for those that are constantly in the public eye and need full and complete online anonymity.  As you interact online, join programs, book vacations, engage social platforms or simply subscribe to newsletters, your personal info is being carefully stored and aggregated by vast number of companies that in turn provide and sell this data to anyone who cares to purchase it.  To gain control of or simply remove your personal information online, MyPrivacy and ExecPrivacy put you back in charge.

ReputationDefender

ReputationDefender is a very specific service, and unlike MyPrivacy is not something that is recommended (or needed) by most individuals and businesses.  ReputationDefender has been specifically designed for any individual or business that's reputation has been tarnished online through blogs, articles, and review sites by disgruntled clients, enraged friends, or former employees etc.  Unfortunately under the law it is virtually impossible to have a court order the removal of online content, however it can be suppressed through techniques that we've perfected through more than $40 million in research and development here at Reputation.com.  Essentially anyone that Googles you or your business won't look past the first couple pages of search engine results, and if all they find are positive articles, reviews, biographies and other sites then the negative material is substantially mitigated and your reputation will reflect positively on you.

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